Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Cajun Winter ~ Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

It's winter but when the sun shines, you can't help but feel anxious about spring. With January nearly half gone, February is just around the corner and that means its Mardi Gras time. When I think New Orleans, I think jambalaya. Being Italian and Polish puts me quite a distance from Arcadian, but that doesn't mean the Brainy Gourmet can't cook like one or you for that matter.

Jambalaya is a simple dish. It can be whipped up in 35 min.  For this dish you will need, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, smoked sausage (buy meat according to number of guests/family), one onion, green and red pepper, dry white wine, chicken stock and a whole bunch of good ole hot stuff as in seasonings.

In a large covered skillet, pour in 5 tbs of olive oil, add to that chopped one whole onion and your red/green peppers (if you have on hand only green peppers then use them, you don't have to be strict). Give this onion and pepper a good stir fry on high heat. Reduce heat to med, and add 1/2 cup of chicken stock and 1/4 cup of white 'dry' wine. Cover and let simmer on med. heat while you dice up your chicken and sausage. Once you've done your dicing, add the pieces of chicken and sausage.

To this mixture now bubbling in your skillet, add your seasonings: 1 tsp of sea salt, 1 tsp of black pepper, 1 tsp of red pepper flakes and the same of garlic powder, 1/2 - 1 tsp of cayenne pepper and 1/2 - 1 tsp of paprika (hotter if you want to melt snow). Stir in all seasonings until everything is a rusty amber. Cover and let simmer for 25 min.

In the meantime, prepare a side dish. I recommend rice, after all its Jambalaya. Add dry kernel rice (1-2 cups depending on # guests) to a deep stock pot of boiling water (two cups water to one of rice) with a pinch of salt.

When the rice is tender, ladle onto a low lipped serving dish, pour out your Jambalaya and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. You can also squeeze on fresh lemon or lime. Or, you can just put a half of lemon on the table along with a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce.

~Tutti a Tavola!

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